July 10, 2023
Salem – In recognition of July as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urges vehicle owners to be aware of the ongoing threat of vehicle theft.
Vehicle theft continues to be a significant concern in the U.S., costing vehicle owners more than $8 billion in 2022 alone. Shockingly, more than 1 million vehicles were stolen in the same year, reflecting a 25 percent increase in vehicle theft totals compared to previous years. Of all stolen motor vehicles, passenger cars historically accounted for more than 74 percent, with an estimated occurrence of one motor vehicle theft happening every 32 seconds.
In 2021, Oregon ranked fifth in the country for stolen vehicles based on the highest rate of vehicle theft per 100,000 residents, according to data provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The states with the highest theft rates were Colorado, District of Columbia, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Theft of vehicles is covered – subject to the deductible – if you have comprehensive insurance coverage. Talk to your insurance company or agent to make sure you have the correct coverage for your needs.
To ensure the safety of your vehicle, it is essential to adopt preventive measures. Always remember to:
- Park in well-lit areas
- Close and lock all windows and doors when parking
- Conceal your valuables
- Avoid leaving your keys inside your vehicle
- Refrain from leaving the area while your vehicle is running
- Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer to make sure the vehicle’s software is up to date
While some vehicles come equipped with alarm and anti-theft systems, those without such features should consider purchasing additional layers of protection. Anti-theft systems are readily available for purchase online or in stores and can provide an extra level of security for your vehicle. For more comprehensive information on motor vehicle theft prevention, visit www.NHTSA.gov/theft. Also, more resources can be found at www.NICB.org, providing further guidance and tips on safeguarding your vehicle from potential theft.